Back before the turn of the 20th century most of the Richmond was taken up by cemeteries. A 1901 law made it illegal to bury the dead in city limits and in the 30′s all the graves were relocated to Colma, where they now remain. The Columbarium, built in 1897, is all that is left of what was once an entire neighborhood of cemeteries. A Columbarium is a lot like a Mausoleum except that instead of housing tombs, it has niches for where urns are placed. The outside of this place has a beautiful dome the color of the Statue of Liberty, and the inside is reminiscent of the Duomo in Florence, Italy. When you go, make sure to ask for Emmitt Watson, the caretaker. He’s been there for years and knows all about the place’s history. One funny thing that I noticed was that the mail box said “No. One Loraine Court”, but since the dot is faded, it looks like “No One”, which is kinda funny considering that literally, no one lives there.
The San Francisco Columbarium
1 Loraine Ct. (1 block west of Stanyan) @ Anza
photo by Thomas Hawk